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OU men’s basketball: 3 takeaways from Oklahoma’s 73-62 win over No. 20 West Virginia

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Brady Manek

Junior forward Brady Manek dunks the ball during the game against Texas Tech at Chesapeake Energy Arena in OKC on Feb. 25.

Oklahoma (18-11, 8-8 Big 12) upset No. 20 West Virginia (19-10, 7-9 Big 12), 73-62, on Saturday in Morgantown.

The win moves the Sooners back to .500 in conference play for the first time since Feb. 15, and marks the second-straight win over a ranked opponent for Oklahoma.

Here are three takeaways from the Sooners’ win:

Sooner defense dominates early

Oklahoma’s defensive effort in the first half was undeniably the reason the Sooners entered halftime up 25-21. 

OU held the Mountaineers scoreless in the last 5:43 of play. WVU shot 9-33 from the field and were 1-10 from behind the arc in the first. The Mountaineers also had some trouble converting at the free throw line, where they were 2-6.

Conversely, Oklahoma was 11-29 from the field and 4-13 from 3 in half one. The Sooners’ offense was led by sophomore guard Jamal Bieniemy at that point, he recorded two 3-pointers and eight points in the first.

Brady scores a bunch

Junior forward Brady Manek was 0-5 from 3 in the Sooners’ last game against No. 22 Texas Tech. 

On Saturday, Manek finally found his shot.

He was 3-7 from beyond the 3-point line against the Mountaineers. He ended the day shooting 6-11 overall for 15 points and had six rebounds. Senior forward Kristian Doolittle had a team-high 19 points and seven rebounds on 7-13 shooting. Freshman De’Vion Harmon tallied two 3s and eight points for the Sooners. Bieniemy finished with 12 points.

Team-wise, Oklahoma ended the game 26-53 from the field and 8-21 from deep.

NCAA, Big 12 tournament shakeups ahead

Oklahoma entered this game as one of ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s final four teams in the NCAA tournament. West Virginia entered as a seventh seed. With Oklahoma winning this game, expect those standings to change.

Elsewhere, Texas and TCU picked up huge upset wins over No. 22 Teas Tech and No. 2 Baylor, respectively.

Now, the Sooners — who just a week ago suffered a 83-66 loss to Oklahoma State on the road — can realistically work their way up to the third seed in the Big 12 tournament and seriously improve their NCAA tournament stock with wins over Texas and TCU next week.

Tip-off for Oklahoma’s senior night matchup against Texas is set for 8 p.m. on March 3 in Norman.

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